To wonder why people don't use baby sitters any more?

(198 Posts)
LeaLeander Wed 16-Dec-15 17:26:54

This is a spin-off of the "kicked out of nativity thread" in which I noticed many people saying they could not attend events unless permitted to take along all of their children. I've seen other discussions (not just here but in real life as well) where people decline wedding invitations, skip funerals, never do anything alone with their spouse, etc. "because we don't have grandparents nearby to watch the kids."

Whatever happened to babysitters? The neighborhood teens, the college students hoping to make money, the moonlighting daycare worker, the elderly lady eking out a pension? Is the reason parents don't use sitters because no one is interested in doing the job for pay?

Even so, what about friends and neighbors, if you don't have relatives nearby? I've watched children, including very young children, for people I know but who aren't close friends, so that they could attend other children's events, or attend to other matters. I'm childfree so it's not as though family life with young children is second nature to me, and yet I can cope and parents seem to have thought so numerous times over the years. "Hi, can you watch Connor for about 90 minutes on Thursday so we can go to Madison's school play?" Sure. Go over, play with kid, or if it's asleep watch TV or read. Or parents drop off child at my house. What's the problem? Do people not have helpful friends, neighbors and co-workers any longer?

The baby in the nativity thread was 5 weeks; I have in the past minded children of friends and relatives as young as that, so the parents could go to a doctor's appointment or meal out. I've watched kids while their parents went to weddings and on several occasions, still in my teens, minded my cousins twin girls both in infancy and toddlerhood. We all survived to tell the tale.

Just really curious and perplexed as to why occasional child care seems to be out of the reach of so many people, to the point of creating situations like that at the nativity.

whois Wed 16-Dec-15 17:29:00

Money? Not wanting to leave their precious child with someone else? Didn't really want to go to event anyway so made up an excuse?

whois Wed 16-Dec-15 17:29:27

5 weeks is very young to be left with a baby sitter isn't it??

Peppaismyhomegirl Wed 16-Dec-15 17:30:06

I would love to find one! I don't seem to know any relatable teenagers who want to do it or want £20 for 3 hours!

Peppaismyhomegirl Wed 16-Dec-15 17:30:26

Reliable- sorry typo

FrozenPonds Wed 16-Dec-15 17:30:37

I don't know any of the neighbours, I don't do school drop offs, so don't know other parents, I can't imagine leaving the children with a random student advertising themselves as a sitter.

We leave the children with relatives, or not at all.

christmascracker2015 Wed 16-Dec-15 17:30:52

Our play is at 2pm so unlikely any of those listed would be available

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 16-Dec-15 17:32:55

people want insured or checked childcare now.

I was reading a thread on a FB discussion group recently talking about babysitter and how much they should charge people were coming out with ridiculous sums for what are in essence unqualified risks.

I could pay a professional qualified childminder or emergency nanny for less than the figures they were chucking around as being the norm.

StrumpersPlunkett Wed 16-Dec-15 17:33:26

no idea, teenager babysitting network alive and well in our village. Never short of a babysitter. £5 per hour not extotionate

Jesabel Wed 16-Dec-15 17:33:38

I do use babysitters, but I couldn't leave a baby with them in the middle of the day because they are at college/uni. And I wouldn't leave a 5 week old with a baby sitter anyway.

Weddings are usually whole day affairs - think how expensive that would be!

WickedWax Wed 16-Dec-15 17:34:37

People are generally a lot more careful about who they leave their children with.

A very enterprising teen on my estate put flyers through everyone's door advertising her babysitting services. I paid her to feed our cat while we were away. I asked her if she had any luck with the babysitting, she said she had 2 calls asking if she was CRB checked but that was all.

ghnocci Wed 16-Dec-15 17:34:54

No way would I leave DD with a random teenager. I think attitudes have changed over the years

CuppaSarah Wed 16-Dec-15 17:35:11

Well babysitters cost money, I know I don't have spare money to spend on one. So that's paid help out.

My mum and sister have mental health issues and leaving my DD with them would be dangerous. My dad works full time and has very little spare time, but he will watch DD if he can work it around work but more often than not can't. I don't have any friends who would be comfortable watching DD for more than half an hour, they don't have children and arent as comfortable watching her as you are.

And this is just my family. Yabu, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford help, or have friends willing to help out.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Wed 16-Dec-15 17:36:05

Personally I would rather use someone I know than trust a stranger. I'm not keen on teenagers in the house making out on the sofa and they are the babysitters that actually advertise locally. If it was a teenager I knew through their parents I would probably use them. But as it is nothing has ever seemed that important really.

If we really fancy a meal out we could ask my Mum and Dad but the expense of the meal puts us off when we could just have a take away 😳

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 16-Dec-15 17:38:14

I'm not very sociable and therefore don't know many people outside family / colleagues. I don't know any teenagers, women eking out a small pension or nursery workers and I wouldn't have a stranger.

ApocalypseNowt Wed 16-Dec-15 17:38:31

We use two teenage girls. I have not checked if they are crb checked but the do look very sensible.

biscuitkumquat Wed 16-Dec-15 17:40:04

When I had DS it turned out that there's a local babysitting club, which uses tokens. So it's a token an hour, then "double time" after midnight.

You can't buy tokens, you can only earn them for babysitting.

We have a facebook group, so if you know you'll need a babysitter the next month, you can volunteer to babysit for someone else in the lead up, so you have enough tokens.

Works really well. We all know each other really well, DC's are all friends, so it's not really babysitting, it's just like a playdate if it's during the day.

autumnboys Wed 16-Dec-15 17:40:46

We have always used teenagers from our church, which is what my parents did too. I can see how it's hard if you don't have any likely candidates in your circle though. I don't think I would have been happy to leave the boys with someone I/they didn't know.

writingonthewall Wed 16-Dec-15 17:42:08

Too expensive apart from a very special occasion.

UmbongoUnchained Wed 16-Dec-15 17:42:29

I leave my child with my mum and no one else.

Headofthehive55 Wed 16-Dec-15 17:43:58

I think it's because of a few reasons. Years gone by you lived in a community often in which you grew up, I minded other people's children, but those families knew me, and my mum. Nowadays we have smaller families usually a coup,e of years apart so when you need a bbysitter you are unlikely to know a local teen.

I am quite unusual in that I have children spanning many years and I can tell you that my oldest one was very much in demand from my friends with young children.

I didn't know any teens when I just had young kids, because I was new to the area.

Also I think we are more cautious these days with inviting in strangers.

JaniceJoplin Wed 16-Dec-15 17:45:24

I looked into sitters.co.uk recently. It was roughly £15 to join and every quarter, £7 to book a service each time, then £8.75 ph for daytime service with a minimum of a 3 hr booking. Ie, an absolute bloody fortune. I think a lot of people in the SE don't really know their neighbours well enough to even think about asking for sitting. Most 'friends' have children of their own to care about and many are single parents. I paid a nanny £250 to watch my 9 month old for 24 hrs for a wedding once.

CMOTDibbler Wed 16-Dec-15 17:46:02

Some people do have friends who are willing and available to babysit for them. Some have relatives to do this. Others don't.

If you don't, then its not that easy to just find people to babysit, and you are either going to have to reciprocate (not always easy to arrange) or pay

Windingstreamswithoutends Wed 16-Dec-15 17:46:42

5 weeks old!! I'm not sure I'd left the house by that point let alone my baby. Plus if you're BF then you can't be separated at that age

KERALA1 Wed 16-Dec-15 17:47:25

I agree. Made lots of friends when we moved here with kids of same age all in the neighbourhood so always someone to fill the gap. Friend and her DH have all while we go to parent evening/nativity then we swap over. Have neighbours kids if she has a dentist appt etc etc. People so insular these days.

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